My favorite part was being able to see and do so many things in so many countries. Favorite excursions included light house tour in Denmark, kayaking in Norway, Hermitage Museum Impressionist art in St. Petersburg, and cycling in Estonia. I would not recommend the Famous Helsinki Ice Bar in Helsinki.
The service on the ship was phenomenal! It never felt like there were 900 people on board. There is plenty of space for relaxing alone-- it never felt crowded. Excursions were well planned.
I would definitely recommend Viking.
My favorite part of the cruise was probably the ship itself. The crew and the entertainment were great. The food was good everywhere - who could complain with sushi and crablegs on the buffet every single night. Some of the tours were not up to expectations - especially The Hermitage in St. Petersburg. Not sure where they took us but it was NOT the main part of the Hermitage and was extremely disappointing. A few of the tours had no free time for shopping or exploring on your own and some were a little unorganized. Overall the cruise was wonderful, but I would not recommend it to anyone under the age of 60. The average age was older than I expected.
The ship was nice and the food was some of the best we have ever had on any cruise. Stockhom was a lot of fun and what a gem the Rostock Germany was, it was very nice.
The Viking Ocean Cruise Line has beautiful ships and very nice cabins. We have stayed in an Explorer Suite on two trips on two different ships. This cabin is much more space than we need, but the views are outstanding, so we spring for the luxury. In addition the walk-in closet makes the space feel like home instead of a temporary stay. One item to note for the Explorer Suites on the 3rd floor bow, there is a good deal of noise. In the evening/night you can hear music coming from the Star Theater below and when docking (which is often in the early morning) you can hear all the winches moving below. If you go with an Explorer Suite, other location choices may be better.
The service on board the ship is top notch. Despite the long hours worked by the housekeeping and restaurant staff, they genuinely seem anxious to please. I can not think of a request that was not granted. In addition, they did a great job of anticipating requests; therefore there was actually little to ask for. Having said this, one service area on the ship could use some improvement. This area is Excursion Staff. We found if we wanted to do something that was different from their established schedules, they were resistant and not terribly helpful. Often they would answer a question before I had completed explaining what I needed and thus didn't even understand the request. It seemed like their role was to get us into their specific excursions and were not open to anything else. This inflexibility actually caused us to book fewer excursions than we had wanted to.
Since this was our second ocean cruise with Viking, I was able to compare the two ships and trips. Both ships are very similar; however I did find small things missing from the second trip (Viking Sea) that made the trip on the Viking Star just a notch above. Some of these small things were hot towels that were offered upon return from each excursion, antibacterial hand wipes handed out on all bus trips, cocktails of the day listed in the Viking Daily news, and the frequent presence of the captain and cruise director among passengers. One final note for improvement is the folks who answer the phones in Los Angeles. I was given incorrect information on more than one occasion and more than once when I needed help with information or the operation of the website, the customer service department either did not respond at all or responded incorrectly. It has given me the impression that once the sale is made, the employees no longer are invested in helping. Perhaps this is a reflection of how pay incentives work. I don't really know why this occurs, but I experienced this type of problem with each cruise.
Despite these complaints, we were very satisfied with the trip and would absolutely recommend Viking Ocean cruises as well as this specific itinerary. We enjoyed the trip enough, that we have already put a deposit on a Viking River cruise.
This cruise from Venice to Barcelona was out fourth trip with Viking but our first sea cruise. We are planning to take another one. The ship has less than 1000 passengers but there are still plenty of things to do on board and great entertainment. Several tours were offered at every port. And the food on board was fantastic.
The ship is new, the staff is fantastic, and the ports of call were all remarkable. Love the included tours. The Viking Sea and it's staff are out to make your cruise as perfect as it can be. I highly recommend Viking Sea to anyone interested a perfect sea cruise.
This cruise on the new ship Viking Sea had the benefit of beautiful weather (in contrast to the immediately preceding ones which had bad problems)...so we were lucky. The cruise went to some fairly untypical ports which were all interesting. Viking had free excursions at all ports - some were good others not so much. The food was above average although we had a disappointing meal at the specialty restaurant Chef's Table. The best part of the cruise was the crew who were all extremely gracious. I would certainly recommend this trip to others.
Food and service excellent. The best employee the have is Heather Clancy.
The ship is beautiful, clean and has a lovely group of entertainers. Loved the full screen movies at the pool.
Favorite: From an informational standpoint, the Port Talks and Lectures were absolutely wonderful! It provided everything you needed to know to get the most out of each port. As far as the ports go...hard to say which was a favorite. Dubrovnik really stands out as we had a chance to walk the city walls in almost solitude. It was magnificent!!! We took an underground city tour in Naples on our own...you should include this as an option...it was fantastic!!!
Improvements: The Viking Sea was a great experience. The only area of improvement was room service. Our steward, Adonis, was great...but the in room dining was less than spectacular. Rarely was the order correct at breakfast and once our dinner was not even delivered. This was after an extremely long day in Rome and the on board restaurants were closed. Other than the in room dining...everything else was impeccable.
The pace of life on the Viking Sea was perfect. Wonderful food, excellent service, great music, incredible tour guides at each port, beautiful and comfortable accommodations, and well maintained ship. We immediately signed up for another cruise, as we were so pleased with the on-board experience.
The only downside on board is that our luggage was delivered to the wrong room, so after hours of waiting, we were exploring the ship and happened to find it outside someone else's door.
The on-board service is miles and miles better than Viking's customer service prior to the trip. We still haven't heard back from the VP of customer service regarding compliments and requests after repeated emails.
I chose this cruise for the itinerary first and the ship and cruise line second. This was my 11th cruise. What made it stand out was the friendliest, happiest, most accommodating staff of all my cruises. They often offered more than what you asked for. Contrary to another reviewer, I thought cruise director Heather Clancy was the best. She was the friendliest, most visible, and most talented of all my cruises. She even performed a whole show herself, sang at other times, and even led the prayer service! The ship never felt crowded and lines were rare. However, it was only at about 2/3 capacity. I loved the blue and sand tones in the decorating. The bathroom was also the best of all my cruises. The rest of the cabin had plenty of drawer space, but I did miss the walk-in closet and full window area of another luxury cruise line. The food was wonderful. There were so many choices that I wasn't able to have some of my favorites at more than one meal. I was a little apprehensive about the Chef's Table, but I loved it both times I went. Also, the staff gives excellent service to people with special diets. The entertainment was all musical, no magicians or comedians. I especially enjoyed the Abba concert, Robyn North's show, and the ticketed Rat Pack show. The shore excursions were very well organized and paced and the local guides were all good. I wish we could have had a choice of included excursions at each port though. Now for a few things that weren't so good. First, luggage did not arrive with me and about 99 other people at the airport. After reading other reviews, I was prepared for this and had enough essentials to carry me through until it arrived. Bergen is a small airport, making transportation there more difficult. Lastly, there was a mechanical problem, so we arrived at Athens about a day late. We were compensated with a voucher during the week after the cruise. Still, this was unexpected with such a new ship. And in between, I wish there would have been TV reception in the fitness room, incentives for participation in activities, and menus to consult before making restaurant reservations for future evenings. Also, the first Meet & Mingle was not well attended because people didn't get their invitations. But then they scheduled a second one with an ample attendance of passengers and staff. All in all, this cruise was the best luxury cruise I've been on for value.
ship was beautiful. food great. staff great.
excursion process needs work. included excursions booked up and you had to book on the ship. if they are included, how can they ever become "booked up"??
cabins lack adequate storage for a longer cruise.
The ship was fantastic.. The best part were the Viking employees. They were always smiling and always trying to make the cruise the best. One day we went on a train trip in Flam and it was raining when we returned to the ship. There were probably 20 or more smiling crew members waiting outside the ship and made a covered walkway with their umbrellas so we would not get wet from the rain.They also had Champagne waiting for us. During the excursions, the guides were extremely knowledgeable and friendly. The captain took a fantastic "side trip" down a fjord when we left Flam. It was beyond awesome viewing numerous waterfalls; rock cliffs the fjord was an absolute spectacular plus to our trip. As we left the fjord, the ship sounded it horn which echoed off the steep rock walls. To say is was spectacular is an understatement. The ship's captain could not have ended our trip in a better way, Make sure you are on he upper deck to see the awesome site.
The Viking Sea is an incredible ship with attention to every detail. We were on the third leg of their maiden voyage. The food, service, staff, and entertainment were fantastic. The itinerary was perfect for us and one of the reason we chose this cruise. The included tours were informative and well done with guides who spoke understandable English. We did half included tours and half we booked on our own.
I would not recommend Viking Air as they messed up many of the passengers flights including our own with a little over an hour at Heathrow when at least 2 hours are needed to get through customs and security. Our luggage and many passengers did not make their flight. What a nightmare.
The ship and the trip however were wonderful.
We picked this cruise because of the unusual ports like Tunis and Algiers - true , we had to be on escorted bus tours in Algiers - but not many Americans are willing to take taxis or go on private excursions in those countries of north Africa . In the other ports, we hired our own private tour guides so we didn't have to go on the bus tours provided by the ship . The Viking Sea is a beautiful vessel - spotlessly clean. Very helpful staff. Shows were nice enough - outdoor Beatle show was fun .
I'd the tour was run very efficiently and am surprised at some negative comments . I think those were due to bad weather the week before we sailed - you have to be lucky with that - no fault of the cruise line - we'd take another cruise any time Viking has some unusual ports of call .
Maybe the nicest ship we have been on. Beautifully appointed, lots of blonde wood and Scandinavian furniture. The food was hit and miss. Ate at Manfreddi's twice and had to send three of four entrees back- overcooked, undercooked, not not fresh fishy. Maitre'd didn't seem to care much.
Chef's Table much better experience. Loved the premium wine pairing with courses.
Free Wi-Fi was great the entire trip!
Had premium beverage package. Viking recently decided to exclude French Champagne from allowed drinks, even through it priced within the limit for " any wine or drink" up to $15.
Lots of less sophisticated first-time cruisers, the kind that don't wash their hands leaving the public washroom on a ship!
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